Has this happened to you? Move from one room to another to get something, do something, find something from another room, tell someone something and when you get there ... what was that something?
Why does this happen? A new study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology says the simple act of walking under a doorway from one room to another can make you forget your original intention.
MSNBC has more:
“When you go from room to room, your brain identifies each room as a new event and sets a new memory trace to capture the new event,” says study author Gabriel Radvansky, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame.
Like a chapter marker, doorways end old episodes and begin new ones, as far as your brain is concerned. This makes it difficult to retrieve older memories because they’ve already been filed away, Radvansky says.
Radvansky conducted three different tests where the subject as asked to do a certain memory task and then walk to another room. Gizmodo reports that these tests were conducted in both experimental and real-world environments. And if you think returning to the room where you first had the thought will help, the study found that it does not make a difference.
How can you combat this problem? MSNBC reports Radvansky as suggesting to carry something with you as a reminder as you move from room to room of what your original purpose was.